Apply to be Senior Commencement Speaker by 4/9

 

Would you like to share your Wesleyan experience at graduation?  If so, simply submit a 200-250 word essay answering the following question:

What has your Wesleyan experience meant to you?

The essay should be roughly the equivalent of the speech you wish to deliver at graduation. Completed essays should be submitted to Dean Leathers by 12:00 noon EST on Friday, April 9th; you may access the form here. Contact Dean Leathers with any questions about your submission.

All essays will be reviewed anonymously by the Senior Commencement Speaker Selection Committee, which will select several finalists for interviews from the pool. Interviews will be conducted in mid-April, after which the speaker will be announced.

Speaking at Commencement is a unique responsibility which should be taken seriously. Keep in mind that your speech should be appropriate for all commencement participants and guests. If you are interested in becoming the senior speaker for Commencement, please don’t hesitate to submit an essay!

Good luck and all the best!

The Senior Commencement Speaker Selection Committee

Fitzroy “Pablo” Wickham
Carolina Montano
Jake Kwon
Paulina Veliky
Professor Francis Starr (Faculty Marshal)

Class of 2021 Upon Completion Q + A – 4/8

Greetings!

I know several of you read the email Provost Stanton sent out about the upon completion policy this evening and I want to provide an opportunity to address as many of your questions as possible. I’m offering a Q&A session this Thursday, April 8th, 5pm-6pm, EST; it will be recorded and Zoom details are offered below.

Class of 2021 Upon Completion Q&A

Thursday, April 8th, 5pm-6pm, EST

https://wesleyan.zoom.us/j/94516023008?pwd=MURWbjR4Q0k0RFZrd3UrbkhXYkttQT09

Meeting ID: 945 1602 3008
Passcode: 715730

Take care for now,

Dean Leathers

Reminder! 2021 Diploma Name Due by 4/18

To: Candidates for Bachelor of Arts Degree
From: Rosie Villard, Administrative Assistant V

To ensure that your full legal name is spelled correctly on your diploma, we are asking you to confirm your diploma name. Please confirm your name as soon as possible.

In your WesPortal under ‘My Information’ click on Diploma Name and Address. The name that we currently have on file will be displayed on this page. If your name is correct, please click on Confirm/Update button at the bottom of the page. If your name is not correct, please make any necessary corrections before selecting the Confirm/Update button.

Please note that you will only be able to update your name once per day – if you confirm your name in error, you will need to return to the page the following day to make any corrections.

If your name contains special characters or accents, please confirm the spelling of your name without the characters or accents. In order to make sure that the special characters or accents appear correctly on your diploma, you will be asked to link to the Special Character Diploma Name Confirmation form and send it to the Registrar’s Office.

To make a correction to your legal name for all other university records, you will need to send a form of legal identification (birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, or legal name change document if your name has been legally changed) to the Registrar’s Office.
The diploma name system will close on Sunday, April 18th at 11:59pm.

Leona (Rosie) Villard
Admin Assit V
Registrar’s Office
Wesleyan University
237 High Street, North College
Middletown, CT 06459

Options for Regalia after 3/31 and Making Changes to Orders

Bachelor candidates are no longer able to order a cap and gown on the Oak Hall website with WRJJ Bookstore delivery. You have the following options if you missed the March 31st deadline:

  1. Order on the Oak Hall website and have your regalia shipped home (deadline for this option: April 19th).  https://wesleyan.shopoakhalli.com/purchasewizard/Welcome
  2. Buy a cap and gown at the WRJJ Bookstore starting mid-May.

Also, Oak Hall just confirmed that they do international shipping. They charge $60 for international shipping but can’t guarantee a particular date for delivery. 

You must direct any questions about international shipping directly to Oak Hall at 800-456-7623.

Students choosing to cancel and/or change their cap and gown orders must also contact Oak Hall directly: 800-456-7623. 

They must have their order number and identify themselves as a Wesleyan University student in Middletown, CT wishing to make a change to an order.

Deadlines to Order Regalia – This Wed, 3/31 for Delivery to WRJJ Bookstore; (New) 4/19 for Home Delivery to Remote Students/December Graduates

Dear Members of the Class of 2021:

The Oak Hall website has been updated, giving Bachelor candidates the following options:

  1. March 31st ordering deadline for delivery to the WRJJ Bookstore. March 31st is Wednesday!!!
  2. April 19th deadline for delivery to a home address. 

Masters and PH.D candidate information has not changed.

https://wesleyan.shopoakhalli.com/purchasewizard/Welcome

Please direct any inquiries to Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore.

Reminder about Regalia Orders for 2021 Commencement

 

 

Update on Wesleyan’s 189th Commencement

Dear friends,

I am pleased to announce new details regarding Wesleyan’s 189th Commencement, which will take place in person on a new date: Wednesday, May 26. This year’s Commencement was previously planned for May 30; however, due to a number of factors, including current pandemic conditions and cancellation of an in-person Reunion weekend, we have decided to move up the date.

The University is hoping that conditions will allow for two guests per graduate to attend the ceremony. We are pursuing plans to accommodate the seniors and other graduates who have been studying remotely to return to campus for Commencement exercises.

As with all of Wesleyan’s COVID-related policies and guidelines, these plans are tentative and subject to change if conditions necessitate. The University will continue to communicate with you regarding more specific details of Commencement in the coming weeks.

I am very much looking forward to seeing our graduates on Andrus Field on May 26, and celebrating the accomplishments of the formidable Class of 2021.

Sincerely,

Michael S. Roth
President

Apply to Be Senior Commencement Speaker!

 Would you like to share your Wesleyan experience at graduation?  If so, simply submit a 200-250 word essay answering the following question:

What has your Wesleyan experience meant to you?

The essay should be roughly the equivalent of the speech you wish to deliver at graduation. Completed essays should be submitted to Dean Leathers by 12:00 noon EST on Friday, April 9th; you may access the form here. Contact Dean Leathers with any questions about your submission. 

All essays will be reviewed anonymously by the Senior Commencement Speaker Selection Committee, which will select several finalists for interviews from the pool. Interviews will be conducted in mid-April, after which the speaker will be announced.

Speaking at Commencement is a unique responsibility which should be taken seriously. Keep in mind that your speech should be appropriate for all commencement participants and guests. If you are interested in becoming the senior speaker for Commencement, please don’t hesitate to submit an essay!

Good luck and all the best!
The Senior Commencement Speaker Selection Committee

Fitzroy “Pablo” Wickham
Carolina Montano
Jake Kwon
Paulina Veliky
Professor Francis Starr (Faculty Marshal)

2021 Commencement Regalia Online Ordering – Updated Deadline 3/31

Dear members of the Class of 2021,

President Roth has previously announced that we hope to have an in-person ceremony celebrating the Class of 2021.  Details for commencement are still under review given the pandemic and guidelines provided by the state of Connecticut, but we expect to share additional information with seniors by the end of March. The vendors who supply graduating students with regalia cannot wait until April to field requests due to the challenges in acquiring these items and getting them shipped in time. The solution for now is to offer an opportunity for students to order their regalia (see details below) since we currently expect an in-person event.  Staff at RJ Julia are working with the vendor to secure refunds if conditions worsen and Wesleyan is unable to host an in-person ceremony.

Caps and Gowns 2021

Commencement: Sunday, May 30th

This year students will purchase their cap and gown regalia (via credit card) from the following Oak Hall website:  https://wesleyan.shopoakhalli.com/purchasewizard/Welcome

Students will either choose a Bachelor Package, Masters Package, or Doctor Package. The website will guide you to the correct gown size by asking height and weight questions.

All Bachelor Regalia will be shipped to the Wesleyan R J Julia Bookstore and will be available for pick up starting Monday, May 17th. Students will now have until Wednesday, March 31st, to purchase their caps and gowns online.

Masters and PHD candidates will either elect to pick up their package at the Wesleyan R J Julia Bookstore or have it sent to their home address.

  • Masters and PHD candidates who wish to have their regalia shipped to the Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore must order online by Friday, April 9th. Masters and PHD regalia will be available for pick up at the Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore starting Friday May 21st.
  • Masters and PHD candidates who wish to have their caps and gowns shipped to a home address will have until Monday, April 26th to order online.

Wesleyan R J Julia Bookstore: 413 Main Street, Middletown, CT 06457.  (860) 685-3939.

Store Hours: Sunday through Wednesday 10 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

2021 Commencement Regalia Online Ordering

Dear members of the Class of 2021,

President Roth has previously announced that we hope to have an in-person ceremony celebrating the Class of 2021.  Details for commencement are still under review given the pandemic and guidelines provided by the state of Connecticut, but we expect to share additional information with seniors by the end of March. The vendors who supply graduating students with regalia cannot wait until April to field requests due to the challenges in acquiring these items and getting them shipped in time. The solution for now is to offer an opportunity for students to order their regalia (see details below) since we currently expect an in-person event.  Staff at RJ Julia are working with the vendor to secure refunds if conditions worsen and Wesleyan is unable to host an in-person ceremony.

Caps and Gowns 2021

Commencement: Sunday, May 30th

This year students will purchase their cap and gown regalia (via credit card) from the following Oak Hall website:  https://wesleyan.shopoakhalli.com/purchasewizard/Welcome

Students will either choose a Bachelor Package, Masters Package, or Doctor Package. The website will guide you to the correct gown size by asking height and weight questions.

All Bachelor Regalia will be shipped to the Wesleyan R J Julia Bookstore and will be available for pick up starting Monday, May 10th. Students will have until Monday, March 22nd, to purchase their caps and gowns online.

Masters and PHD candidates will either elect to pick up their package at the Wesleyan R J Julia Bookstore or have it sent to their home address.

  • Masters and PHD candidates who wish to have their regalia shipped to the Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore must order online by Friday, April 9th. Masters and PHD regalia will be available for pick up at the Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore starting Friday May 21st.
  • Masters and PHD candidates who wish to have their caps and gowns shipped to a home address will have until Monday, April 26th to order online.

Wesleyan R J Julia Bookstore: 413 Main Street, Middletown, CT 06457.  (860) 685-3939.

Store Hours: Sunday through Wednesday 10 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Wesleyan Commencement and Honorary Degree Recipients May 2021

Dear friends,

Wesleyan is pleased to announce the speaker and honorary degree recipients for its 189th Commencement. The date of Commencement was previously announced as May 30th; however, given current pandemic conditions we are reviewing other options for the last week of May. The University is currently planning to hold the ceremony in-person on Wesleyan’s Middletown campus, though off-campus guests will be restricted to virtual attendance given the ongoing threat posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. More details about the ceremony and a definitive date for Commencement will be announced by the end of March.

Reginald Dwayne Betts, an award-winning poet, memoirist, and teacher, is this year’s speaker. MacArthur-winning researcher, writer, and activist Catherine Coleman Flowers and Scott Gottlieb ’94, a physician and former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, will also be honored. The recipients were chosen on the basis of their significant contributions to the social, environmental, and public health of the United States.

Be it through teaching, art, advocacy, medicine, or policy-making, these three individuals offer us shining examples of how we can work to forge better futures. Despite difficult circumstances, like the current public health situation, Reginald, Catherine, and Scott represent our ability to make progress on seemingly intractable problems, and, through their efforts, inspire us to direct our talents toward meaningful action.

Reginald Dwayne Betts is the award-winning author of four collections of poetry, a nonfiction memoir, and a powerful body of essays and scholarship that has been featured in such publications as The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post. The founder and director of the Million Book Project, his work has earned him a Radcliffe Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, NEA Fellowships, and a PEN New England Award for poetry, among many other recognitions.

In his National Magazine Award–winning essay “Getting Out,” published in The New York Times Magazine in 2018, Betts explores the central themes of self-reflection and self-actualization, and the effects of incarceration on individuals, families, and communities. A gifted student in elementary and high school, Betts was himself sentenced to nine years in maximum security prison at age 16. During that time, he studied literature and poetry and laid the foundation for a career that has since seen him earn a BA from the University of Maryland, an MFA from Warren Wilson College, and a JD from Yale Law School. Betts has engaged in wide-ranging speaking engagements and has years of experience in public defense, advocacy, and public service. He has received an appointment from Governor Ned Lamont to Connecticut’s Criminal Justice Commission, the state body that hires all state prosecutors.

Betts is currently pursuing a PhD in Law at Yale University and continues to lecture on his formative experiences and the importance that grit, perseverance, and literature have played in his success, as well as the intersection between literature and advocacy. His most recent collection of poems, Felon: Poems (2019) was a winner of the American Book Award and the NAACP Image Award, and a finalist for the LA Times Book Award. He is also the author of the memoir, A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison, and the poetry collections Shahid Reads His Own Palm (2010) and Bastards of the Reagan Era (2015).

Catherine Coleman Flowers is a renowned environmental health advocate whose work focuses on bringing attention to and developing solutions for failing water and waste sanitation infrastructure in rural areas, and increasing our understanding of how this infrastructure failure perpetuates health and socioeconomic disparities. For her work, Flowers was awarded a 2020 MacArthur Fellowship, also known as a “Genius Grant,” which goes to citizens or residents of the United States who demonstrate “extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.”

Originally from Lowndes County, Alabama, Flowers earned a BA from Cameron University in 1986 and an MA from the University of Nebraska in 2015, and worked as a high school teacher in Detroit, Michigan, and Washington, DC, before returning to Lowndes to begin her advocacy work. She is the founding director of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice, an Alabama-based policy and advocacy organization devoted to addressing the root causes of poverty in the state and developing multidisciplinary, grassroots solutions and models that can be replicated in rural communities throughout the country. Part of the organization’s work included a house-to-house survey in Lowndes that confirmed more than half of county households were either piping raw sewage into the ground or had failing septic systems, which led to the first open discussion of flaws in onsite water treatment (which previously had been governed under threat of incarceration by the Alabama Public Health Department). She is currently collaborating with The Guardian on a national study to identify and quantify wastewater infrastructure problems throughout the United States.

Flowers is the author of Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret (2020), and has published articles in Anglican Theological Review, Columbia Human Rights Law Review, and American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, among other journals. She is also the rural development manager for the Equal Justice Initiative, a senior fellow for the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, and a member of the board of directors of the Climate Reality Project and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Flowers was recently appointed to the Biden-Sanders Task Force on Climate Change, co-chaired by United States representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former Secretary of State John Kerry, who is now a special envoy for climate.

 Scott Gottlieb ’94 is a physician, public health and policy advisor and advocate, and a special partner with the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates. He served as the 23rd commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 2017 to 2019 and is currently a resident fellow at public policy think tank the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

Dr. Gottlieb’s work spans a great many aspects of health care. At the FDA, he oversaw a record number of generic drugs, novel medicines, and innovative medical devices in two consecutive years, helping to make the regulatory process in those areas more efficient; advanced policies to address opioid addiction; reduced death and disease from tobacco; and guided important progress on drug pricing, food safety, and vaccination. At AEI, he has pursued public health improvements through entrepreneurship, and continued to focus on medical innovation and expanding regulatory approaches aimed at patient and physician autonomy.

After graduating from Wesleyan with a BA in economics, Dr. Gottlieb went on to earn his MD from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and conducted his residency in internal medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center. He serves on the boards of Pfizer, Illumina, Aetion, and Tempus; was previously a senior policy adviser to the administrator at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and a clinical assistant professor at New York University School of Medicine, in addition to a practicing physician and hospitalist. He is a frequent contributor to CNBC and CBS’s Face the Nation, and has also published commentary and articles in Health Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, among many others.

A list of past honorary degree recipients and Commencement speakers is available here. The President’s Office welcomes suggestions for future recipients of honorary degrees. Please contact presoffice@wesleyan.edu.

Michael S. Roth

President